Setting up broadband is easy, according to YouTube video
Several sources have said that Alan Gross, the American who has been held in jail in Cuba since December 2009, brought satellite communication gear to the island. The sources have said he was carrying equipment that can be used to set up a Broadband Global Area Network, or BGAN for short.
BGAN is a global satellite Internet network. You can use it to establish a broadband Internet from anywhere in the world. You can also make phone calls, send e-mail messages and set up a WiFi network. And the equipment fits in a backpack.
The YouTube video, above, shows how easy it is to set up a BGAN system. I used a similar system while covering the fighting in Afhganistan after the Sept. 11 attacks and it really wasn't too complicated to operate.
BGAN equipment is relatively inexpensive. I searched on eBay and found one BGAN terminal on sale for $1,150.
The connection time can be expensive. Tempest Telecom, for instance, charges about $1 per minute for phone calls, $10 per megabyte transferred via broadband, plus a monthly fee of about $40. I think those rates are probably typical. The company also offers an unlimited usage plan. Price: $2,500 per month.
That's about 100 times the average salary in Cuba, so I presume Uncle Sam would foot the bill for any BGAN connections.